Once upon a time, almost 17 years ago, I married my Prince Charming. Life back then was simple…and good.
Since then we have been blessed with five beautiful children, completed 10 years of school, (I say we because this was a joint effort…even if I graduated from college just a year a half after we were married), and moved 10 times. In the midst of all of those big events, there have been countless little ones that have taught us many lessons and helped us to grow.
Life today is much busier than it was in those early days of marriage. Where there used to be quiet evenings to spend together playing scrabble and card games, there is now the constant shuttle service to music lessons and after school activities. Where we used to eat simple meals of ramen noodles and cheese quesadillas (hey, we were on a student budget), and spend $100/month on groceries, we now cook huge pots of pasta in hopes that there will be enough to go around, and spend MUCH more than $100/month. Where we used to spend hours each day together, we now are often lucky to get a few minutes together before one of us falls asleep out of sheer exhaustion. Sometimes if feels like we are just passing each other in the comings and goings of our lives – he spending most of his time running a dental practice, and me spending most of my time running a busy household – both of us trying to keep things above water in a different way. I don’t have much input to give him about his dental practice, but he does have a HUGE role in helping me to run the household. We are on the same team and make decisions together, but the fact remains that our daily responsibilities are different.
Too often I get lost in the busyness of raising children and lose sight of the fact that my relationship with him is the most important relationship in our family. I forget to tell him how much he means to me. I fail to remind him that I think he is AWESOME. I let the frustrations of daily life weigh too heavily on my mind, and spend too much energy on things that don’t really matter. That often leaves too little energy left for the one person in my life who is my rock, my strength, my comic relief, my confidant, my best friend – the love of my life.
While the kids are important, and I will always be here for them – they won’t be living with me nearly as long as Greg will. They will grow up, leave home, and start families of their own – leaving Greg and I alone with each other once more. When that time comes, I don’t want to feel like I need to get to know him all over again, or have cause to wonder what happened to the strength of our relationship while we were raising children. I want to go back to card games, scrabble, and hours to spend together enjoying each others company. I want to travel with him and serve a mission together. I want our relationship to be even stronger in years to come than it is now, or than it was when we got married. We have a GREAT marriage, but I am committing now to make it even better. I want the kids to know that their dad is the most important person in my life. I think they will find security in that. After all, our family started because the two of us fell in love – and that same love is the force that will keep our family strong for years to come. We must keep it alive, despite the busy lives that we both lead, and the other things that will continue to pull us in a million directions. That will definitely take some planning and effort, especially now when life gets so crazy, but it will be time well spent – I’m sure of that.
So here’s to dancing in the kitchen, kissing in front of the kids, weekly date nights, weekend getaways without the kids, and working to make our family centered on our marriage – not our kids.